GOOGLE'S PROBLEMS with its new flagship phone range have deepened, as reports of the dreaded Black Smear on the screen and a mixture of high-pitched noises and clicks are being reported by users.
The Pixel 2 XL, which costs just shy of £1000 has already been criticised for its screen which has variously suffered from a blue hue, lack of definition at angles and most recently screen-burn of the type you usually expect on an old CRT monitor.
This has led to speculation that Google has skimped on OLED panels for its flagship amid cries of foul from users, particularly over at Reddit, which is compiling an Encylopixelia Googlecrapia.
The clicks and whistles seem to be more related to the Pixel 2, as opposed its big brother which is coping the majority of the flack and can be helped, though not cured, by turning off NFC, one of those features that really ought to be on all the time.
The Pixel 2 XL meanwhile has issues with its speakers, as found by 9 to 5 Google, the top and bottom speakers don't carry the same audio output - there's about 10db difference. Apparently, this was deliberate however as the engineers were struggling to control vibrations caused by the top speaker.
As long-time Google advocates, we're tearing what little hair we have left out here and wondering how on earth this was allowed to happen.
We've already said multiple times that the Pixel 2 range is way overpriced, and that was when we thought it wasn't going to be beset by all these issues.
We're not done. After a Pixel 2 XL managed to get through to retail with a big sticker on it showing it had failed quality control (the phone equivalent of finding half a mouse in your pork pie), which Google has since swapped out and given the customer a $10 Google Play credit (whoop-whoop), more complaints are surfacing about the screen.
So we already know the screen is not going down well. Unfortunately, its problems continue. An old friend familiar to OLED users, black smearing, is coming into play. It basically means that when transitioning from black to colour, there's ghosting of the black image because the picture isn't refreshing fast enough. And on the Pixel 2XL in appears to be particularly bad.
It's no secret that we like Google round here. They're the only brand that INQ gives its own regular column. But it's getting very difficult to defend them. They're not the only phone to have had launch problems (OnePlus 5 anyone?) but this, this is a different league and Google is about to learn the hard way that premium has to mean premium, these kind of cock-ups are beyond unacceptable.
The Pixel 1 sold modestly, despite being a good phone. If, as is looking increasingly likely, the Pixel 2XL has to be recalled because of shonky screens, that could be it for the Pixel line's reputation and that would make us very sad indeed. µ
Bad for shareholders, mildly good for the planet
YouTube on the Tube
Claims that it hasn't ever actually worked